The stock markets in the United States ended the week with gains, despite the lower-than-expended retail spending growth of 0.2 percent for the month of August as investors continue to monitor the Federal Reserve’s action regarding its quantitative easing next week.

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The higher cost of gasoline drove the wholesale prices in the country up by 0.3 percent, higher than the expectation of economists. The U.S. wholesale price, which measures inflation, is flat excluding the volatile food and energy components. The consumer-sentiment index of Thomson Reuters ad University of Michigan indicated stated that consumers in the country are less optimistic early this September as compared to last month. The consumer-sentiment index declined from 82.1 final reading in August to 76.8.

Todd Colvin, senior vice president at R.J. O’Brien & Associates commented, “The numbers were a little soft but not soft enough to cause a panic. Equities are going to remain very popular because people have made money in equities.”

With regards to the Federal Reserve’s forthcoming quantitative easing, investors say that it is not a big deal if a reduction will be implemented next week. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the investors surveyed by Bloomberg believe that a reduction has no sudden effect to the markets.

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of State John Kerry reported that his discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva regarding the Syria’s chemical weapons is “constructive.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,376 (+0.49%)
  • S&P 500- 1,687 (+0.27%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,722 (+0.17%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,053 (+0.45%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2, 867 (+0.18%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,583 (-0.08%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,509 (+0.18%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14, 404 (+1.12%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22, 915 (-0.17%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 488 (-0.74%)

Stocks In Focus

The stock price of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) went up by 3.5% to $23.43 per share after analysts at global investment banking firm, Jefferies, upgraded their rating for the stock form ‘hold’ to ‘buy’ and raised their price target from $27 to $30 per share. Their positive conviction for the stock was due to Intel’s leadership in manufacturing, and new products intended for lower-priced computers.

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. (ADR) (NYSE:FMS) reported that its subsidiary, Helios, agreed to acquire 43 hospitals from Rhoen-Klinikum AG (ETR:RHK) (FRA:RHK) (OTCMKTS:RHKJF) for $4.1 billion. The stock price of Frenius is trading around $32.35 per share at the New York Stock Exchange, while Rhoen-Klinikum surged by more than 11 percent to €19.45 in Frankfurt.

The stock value of Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) climbed by 6 percent to $28.21 per share after analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) upgraded their rating for the stock to ‘outperform’ and increased their price target from $26 to $34 per share. According to the analysts, Safeway will become more profitable if it reduces its presence in certain markets where Whole Foods Market, Inc (NASDAQ:WFM) is dominant, such as Southern California.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) climbed by nearly 6 percent to $289.97 per share after the hiring of Robert Landry as chief financial officer. Landry was a former executive at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The stock also rose because of optimism regarding its cholesterol drug ‘Alirocumab’.